Positive behavior support is a proactive management strategy that creates the behavioral systems and structures needed for students to grow academically and socially. Its goal is to provide a safe and supportive school climate by meeting the unique needs of students at varying levels of behavioral and social/emotional development. At the core of positive behavior support is the belief that all students can exhibit appropriate behavior when provided with the proper supports.
When a school implements positive behavior supports, it teaches student expectations and character development with the same intentionality as academic content. Positive behaviors are reinforced through individual and group reinforcers, such as tangible rewards or recognition, with a focus on maintaining a high ratio of positive interactions to negative ones.
More individualized plans built using research-based intervention strategies are created for students who have difficulty meeting the expectations with basic supports. These positive behavior support plans involve identifying the challenging behavior and its purpose, teaching replacement behaviors and coping strategies, reinforcing and rewarding positive behaviors, and minimizing the causes of the negative behaviors.
As a principal, there are various ways to support teachers in the implementation of positive behavioral supports:
The goal of positive behavior supports is to provide a safe and supportive school climate by creating consistency across a school and meeting the unique needs of students at varying levels of behavioral and social/emotional development.
Positive behavior support examples that succeed in achieving this goal include:
Positive behavior intervention plans are designed to be proactive rather than reactive in improving a student’s behavior and in teaching the lifelong habits necessary to be successful in both school and life. With a targeted, research-based approach to behavior support, a student can more easily navigate the challenges of replacing negative behaviors and take more ownership of the process as well.
Purposeful intervention plans also provide more support and guidance to teachers through the introduction of research-based intervention strategies that are more likely to promote growth and success. With a plan that includes all key stakeholders, a student receives strong, consistent support that reinforces positive behaviors in all settings, helping all involved to feel more successful and motivated.
To develop a positive behavior support plan, collect data through behavior reports, observations, and interviews to determine the most common behaviors a student exhibits. From the data, determine the most frequent behaviors that need to be addressed, such as “Responds negatively to verbal feedback about negative behavior”.
Once you’ve determined the two most common behaviors, script the replacement, or desired, behaviors that the student should exhibit. For example, “Accept feedback about behavior by fixing addressed behavior with 1 or less reminder”. Directly teach and model the desired behavior for the student and train teachers and other staff in preferred support strategies, such as nonverbal cues or proximity, to use when student needs support in meeting expectations.
Create a method to collect behavior data for the student to determine the effectiveness of the positive behavior support plan over time. Data can be collected through various methods, such as using points based trackers, charting merit totals, or recording observational data.
Some best practices to follow when creating positive behavior support plans:
"Kickboard has made a huge difference. We reduced disciplines by 44% in just 18 weeks. If I go to another campus and come back to ours, I can see and hear the difference. It’s so positive here and that’s changing the culture of our school. This not only improves students’ behavior but it improves their academic performance as well."– Kasie Jackson, Assistant Principal - Dallas ISD
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